identical but different

This is my exercise for @theinkwell's weekly call.

Grateful for the kind read.


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identical but different

They both had that direct, serene and clean look of people who want to eat the world slowly and conscientiously.

They seemed to have no desire to be loved and accepted by strangers. They had each other for that, the love and recognition between them was of the best possible quality. They were the perfect symbiosis, trusting each other without a hint of doubt.

By the way they behaved from the first day they were born, each claiming the warmth of the other, moving between the sheets to be together, clasping hands, the family understood that they were a unit of two.

Susan and Luc's work, in addition to conceiving them, focused on making them different, without having clearly set out to do so.

For practical feeding purposes they began to categorically distinguish their wardrobes. They devised a complex care system in which father and mother took turns so that each parent spent the necessary time with each of the children.

When they became self-aware, around the age of two, they began to receive different gifts on their birthdays and special occasions.

-A fire engine for Jack!
-A flute for Peter!
-A book of animal pictures for Jack!
-A telescope for Peter!

When they arrived at school, they had developed different preferences and aptitudes. One boy developed a personality strongly inclined to mathematical analysis and the other marked by aesthetic contemplation. They learned to speak and control their bodies at different rates.

Their parents could distinguish one from the other as clearly as oil from vinegar.

At the suggestion of the school administration to assign them to different classrooms, and in the face of the twins' stubborn silence, the school counselling team considered Jack and Peter's opinions separately. The conclusion was unanimous: the brothers did not want to be separated.

The teachers had a big problem on their hands. They opted to assign them to the front row, one in each corner. Knowing the different aptitudes, they began to be amazed to see that, regardless of the subject, the two boys always scored the highest in the written assessments.

The case was continuously discussed in the teachers' councils. Interventions sometimes took on a humorous tone and sometimes a very analytical one. Some teachers wanted to test the oral assessments on them, taking them by surprise during questioning in class. The result was identical.

Word began to spread that the twins were telepathically connected and that this was the reason why they could answer questions on logic as well as art, geography as well as literature, biology as well as social sciences, chemistry as well as humanities....

Throughout their schooling, the teachers gradually realised that they had no chance of revealing the mystery of the twins and opted to take all the results of the evaluations as good.

Around the twins, a group of classmates began to gather. Initially, some attracted by their academic brilliance, others joined for more spontaneous reasons, a shared joke, a passing glance, a stumble, a kindness.

-How will we know which of you is Jack and which is Peter? -asked Camila as she began to join the group.

The simple answer came from one of them.

-You can ask us.

-But I don't want to be asking all the time.

You will learn to distinguish us..., if we want to.

Camila was not entirely convinced by the answer but, like the rest of the friends, she began to understand that Peter and Jack were a unit of two in the wider group.

By the end of school they formed a group of twelve teenagers, from different grades, who met after school to make plans for outings or just to hang out together.

Together they celebrated their graduation party, where one of the brothers was assigned - by lottery between the two of them, as they had identical academic records - to deliver the speech as the students' representative.

It was a very moving speech. It emphasised the importance of recognising one's own qualities and limitations and the possibility of finding the right complement in another person. There was talk of commitment, of study, of family support, of the importance of friendship, but above all there was an emphasis on respect and consideration for personal differences.

-I can say it with certainty, because my brother and I are completely different and that is very good.

This closing speech provoked a big laugh and thunderous applause.

The parents in their row also laughed and clapped happily. Only they knew that the twin who was to deliver the speech was sitting next to them, waiting for his brother to come to them to congratulate him.



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